The 40 destinations that MTDC plans to promote through its bed and breakfast scheme are:
Panchgani lies in the district of Satara and gets its name from the five plateaus on which this hill station is located. The area is rich with greenery. And the climate and location is so pleasant that a dozen or so boarding schools are situated here. Known as the Mecca of Maharashtra, Panchgani offers a splendid climate and magnificent scenery. Mysterious valleys, sparkling rivers and sleepy hamlets dot the surrounding countryside. The best time to visit Panchgani is between the months of October to February
By air: The nearest airport is at Pune 98 kms away.
By rail: The nearest railhead is Wathar 45 kms on the Miraj-Kolhapur section of South Central Railway.
- Bombay-Panchgani via Pune 295 kms.
- Bombay-Panchgani via Mahad 266 kms.
Chikaldara lies in the district of Amravati, 763 kms away from Bombay by road, in the Vidharba region. Situated in the Gavilgarh Hills, a offshoot of the Satpura range, it is surrounded by lakes and waterfalls. Chikaldara is the home of the Korkus tribe. It offers an abundance of wildlife. Animal lovers will be delighted to spot magpies, chitals, sambhars, and langurs. And the Dhakana-Kolkaz National Park nearby is famous for its tigers. The Melghat Tiger Project is located here too. Chikaldara's cool breezy climate makes it an excellent place to get away to in summer. The MTDC-run Semadoh Forest Lodge is a comfortable place to stay.
By air: The nearest airport is at Akola, 150 kms away.
By rail: The nearest railhead is Badnera.
- Bombay-Chikaldara 763 kms.
- Nagpur-Chikaldara 230 kms.
- Amravati-Chikaldara 100 kms.
State Transport buses ply from Amravati and Nagpur to Chikaldara. The MTDC runs daily excursions to the game sanctuaries and sightseeing spots.
Matheran lies in the district of Raigad, 170 kms away from Bombay, up in the Western ghats.
Getting to Matheran is half the fun. A toy train meanders up the mountain, treating you to a breathtaking view.
Matheran is rich in greenery and there's plenty to see -- Lake Charlotte, Honeymoon Hill, Panther's Cave and lots more. You can also go horse riding and shop for exciting cane and leather articles. Equally entertaining are the monkeys that inhabit the place.
By air: The nearest airport is at Bombay, 100 kms away.
By rail: Bombay-Neral-Matheran 108 kms.
- Bombay-Neral 90 kms.
- Neral-Matheran 21 kms.
- Pune-Neral 120 kms.
State Transport buses ply from Bombay and Pune to Neral.
Panhala lies in the district of Kolhapur. Situated at an altitude of 977.2 metres, Panhala is a charming hill resort steeped in history. Panhala's historic fort was the site of Chhattrapati Shivaji's heroic escape from the forces of Siddhi Johar. Situated here too is the Sambhaji temple, Someshwar temple, Teen Darwaza, Raj Dindi and several other places. Of special interest are the blue basalt temples on the sacred Jyotiba hill nine kms away. And the 7th century AD Mahalaxmi temple at Kolhapur 18 kms away. As well as the wildlife sanctuary at Radhangari 52 kms away.
By air: The nearest airport is at Belgaum 123 kms away.
By rail: The nearest railhead is Kolhapur, 18 kms away, on the South Central Railway.
- Bombay-Panhala 428 kms via Kolhapur.
- Kolhapur-Panhala 18 kms.
Aurangabad was re-built by the Moghul emperor, Aurangzeb, to commemorate his Deccan conquests. But the city has a history that spans the Maurya, Satvahana, Chalukya and Rashtrakuta periods.
The Bibi-ka-Maqbara, the mausoleum of Begum Rabia Durani, Aurangzeb's wife, which resembles the Taj Mahal, is one of the most pretty landmarks of the city. Panchakki, a water mill, and Sunheri Mahal are equally beautiful. Not far from the city are the famous Ajanta and Ellora caves.
By air: Connected to Bombay by daily flights.
By rail: A main junction on the South Central Railway.
- Bombay-Aurangabad 388 kms.
MTDC runs luxury bus services every day from Bombay to Aurangabad, and from Aurangabad to Ajanta, Ellora and Paithan.
Murud Janjira lies in the district of Raigad. Murud Janjira is popular for the its fort which is located in the middle of the sea. It is arguably the only fort that remained unconquered for 300 years. The palace of the Nawab and the Janjira caves are worth a visit. The palm fringed beaches at Murud Janjira are refreshingly clean and happily quite desolate. However, other than the fort and the beach there isn't much else to do in Murud Janjira except to chill out.
By air: The nearest airport is at Bombay, 165 kms away.
By rail: The nearest railhead is Panvel 122 kms away.
- Bombay-Murud via Revdanda 165 kms.
- Pune-Murud via Mahad 230 kms.
- Alibag-Murud 52 kms.
State Transport buses ply from Bombay and Pune to Murud.
Ganpatipule is in the district of Ratnagiri. The place gets its name from the temples built in honour of Ganpati. What is the reason for journeying here? A great locale to mix business (religious) with pleasure -- a religious pilgrimage and a relaxing vacation. An important pilgrimage spot at Ganpatipule is the temple that houses Swayambhu, an idol of Ganpati hewn out of rock by Mother Nature, located a few yards from the glittering white beach. Another popular landmark is the Ganesha Temple, which has been a place of pilgrimage for over 300 years. Nearby is the Jaigad Fort and the Thebaw Palace.
By air: The nearest airport is at Ratnagiri, 50 kms away.
By rail: The nearest railhead is Kolhapur 144 kms on the South Central Railway.
- Bombay-Ganapatipule 375 kms via Mahad.
- Pune- Ganpatipule 331 kms via Satara.
- Kolhapur-Ganpatipule 144 kms.
Situated in the Buldana district, Lonar is most famous for the magnificent 'hyper-velocity meteorite-impact crater'.
Of interest are the ruins of temples constructed in the Hemadpanti style, where Lord Narasimha, Ganesh, Renukadevi and Shiva were once worshipped. If visiting temples is not appealing there's always a spot of bird watching to be done. A fascinating sight is the presence of hundreds of peafowl here, who live inside the crater. Besides the birds -- there are migratory birds and the local avians -- Lonar is the place to spot monitor lizards, Hanuman langurs, chinkaras and gazelles, if you are lucky.
By air: The nearest airport is at Aurangabad, 122 kms away.
By rail: The nearest railhead is Malkapur on the Bombay-Bhusaval line.
- Bombay-Aurangabad-Jalana-Lonar 600 kms.
- Lonar- Buldana 95 kms.
- Lonar-Mehekar Taluka 23 kms
- Lonar- Aurangabad 145 kms.
Mahabaleshwar is a place of verdant greenery perched high on the Western Ghats. Mahabaleshwar has enough 'lookout points', as they are popularly called, to keep one's camera clicking non-stop. And most tourists would find it difficult to visit Mahabaleshwar and not do a bit of horse riding and boating on the waters of Lake Venna or visit the Lingmala Falls. Of late however, there has been a steady increase in commercialism and ugly tourism and the place has lost some of its charm. The historical forts of Pratapgad (24 kms away) and Raigad (80 kms away) are well worth a visit.
By air: The nearest airport is at Pune, 120 kms away.
By rail: The nearest railhead is Wathar, but Pune is a convenient railhead.
Bhimashankar, located in the district of Pune has enormous religious significance and houses one of the five jyotirlingas of Maharashtra. Constructed by the eminent Nana Phadnavis, the Shiva temple has gorgeous carvings. Its Mahashivratri fair is most popular and nearly 25,000 pilgrims converge here for this festival. The wilderness surrounding Bhimashankar has a lot of wildlife. The MTDC already has tents available on rent at this location.
By air: The nearest airport is at Pune 95 kms away.
By rail: The nearest railhead is also Pune.
- Bombay-Bhimashankar 265 kms via Pune.
Situated in the district of Nagpur, legend has it that Ram resided here with Sita and Lakshman during his exile and that is how Ramtek got its name. It was here too that the prolific Sanskrit poet Kalidas wrote his epic Meghdootam. Other than these places of religious significance, one can visit the Ramgiri Hill, Ramsagar Lake and Khindsey Lake.
By air: The nearest airport is at Nagpur, 58 kms away.
By rail: Ramtek is a station on the South Central Railway and regular trains ply between Nagpur and Ramtek.
- Bombay-Ramtek via Nagpur 913 kms.
State Transport buses ply from Nagpur to Ramtek.
Tuljapur is in the district of Osmanabad and Tulja Bhawani , popularly known as Durga, is worshipped here. If you have seen this temple, you have covered the sights of Tujlapur and the only thing left to do is to kick back and relax.
By air: The nearest airport is at Aurangabad, 257 kms away.
By rail: The nearest railhead is Solapur on South Central Railway.
- Bombay-Tuljapur 452 kms via Solapur.
- Aurangabad-Tuljapur 257 kms.
- Solapur-Tuljapur 40 kms.
- Osmanabad-Tuljapur 19 kms.
Nanded lies on the Godavari river. This is the place where the Sikh guru Gobind Singh was assassinated. A short distance from Nanded is lies the important Sachkhand Gurudwara. Nanded is a major railhead between Aurangabad and Secunderabad.
Buddhist cave temples and monasteries cut into the rock, dating from 200 BC to 650 AD are spread across this region. But Fardapur is mainly a forest area. The town lies about five kms away from the Ajanta caves and much of the tourist traffic is people traipsing through the town on their way to the famed caves. Besides the MTDC holiday resort there is also a forest rest house. Quite an ideal place for those wanting to get away from it all.
By air: The nearest airport is at Aurangabad, 108 kms away.
By rail: Jalgaon, 58 kms away on the Central Railway is a convenient railhead.
- Bombay-Ajanta 491 kms via Jalgaon.
- Bombay-Ajanta 487 kms via Manmad.
- Bombay-Ajanta 499 kms via Pune.
State Transport and luxury buses run from Aurangabad and Jalgaon to Ajanta.
Lonavala is a charming hill resort, three hours from Bombay and one hour from Pune. It is ideal for mountain climbers. And it is a good stopover if one is planning to visit the Karla and Bhaja caves and the Lohagad and Visapur Forts, which lie in its vicinity. There are several small waterfalls and plunging valleys nearby ideal for picnics. Spots like Lonavala Lake, Bhushi Dam, Tiger's Leap, Ryewood Park, Tungarli Dam, Barometer Hill are rather scenic. Khandala, the twin hill station nearby, is equally popular for its scenery and picnic possibilities. Lonavala is famous too for its chikki, a candy made from nuts.
By air: The nearest airport is at Pune, 66 kms away.
By rail: Lonavala is on the Bombay-Pune line of the Central Railway.
- Bombay-Lonavala 118 kms.
- Pune-Lonavala 64 kms.
By road: Lonavala is on the Bombay-Pune road
- Bombay-Lonavala 104 kms.
- Pune-Lonavala 66 kms.
Solapur is the centre of the cotton growing industry. It is a highly industrialised area. But Solapur is surrounded by prosperous farms and is therefore a very scenic destination. Located on the main railway line between Madras and Bombay, it is a good stopover.
This is one of the most important towns of Maharashtra. It is popular for the ghats and pretty temples situated on the banks of the Panchganga river that runs through the town. The Mahalaxmi temple is the chief draw. Other sights include the Brahmapuri hill, Rani's Garden and Rajwada.
Alibag is one of the only unspoilt beaches in close vicinity of Bombay. Some stretches of the beach are today rather crowded but mostly ir is quite clean and privately owned.. There are boats and hovercrafts leaving from the Gateway of India on a daily basis. Alibag is a great place to relax.
Grishneshwar gets its name from the gigantic Grishneshwara temple. Another the home of another important jyotirlinga of Maharashtra located 30 kms away from Aurangabad in Parbhani district. Virtually a suburb of Ellora, the influx of tourists to Grishneshwar is due to the fact that it is a convenient stopover for tourists on their way to the caves. The mood of this quiet town takes a major upswing during Mahashivratri when Grishneshwar celebrates Ellora Yatra, an annual fair.
Parli-Vaijanth is situated in the district of Beed. Another jyotirlinga hot spot, the town draws pilgrims from near and far. The jyotirlinga is housed in the town's the famous Shiva temple complex. Parli-Vaijanth is a must stop for an ambitious and persevering Shiv devotees.
Malvan is a temple town, a few centuries old, located in southern Maharashtra. Malvan is slowly evolving into a beach resort. The two most famous temples in these parts are the Sri Devi Sateri and the Rameshwar temple. As significant is the Padmagad Fort nearby. The town is famous for its jackfruit, mangoes, cashew nuts and coconut groves.
Amboli is a small hill station, in the Sindhudurg district, situated on the Western Ghats, nestling in the Sahyadri mountains at an altitude of 690 m. Surrounded by thick forests and verdant hills and valleys, Amboli is ideal for long walks. Hiranya Keshi offers hours of fun for anglers. Nagarta Falls and Narayangad are perfect for picnics.
By air: The nearest airport is at Belgaum, 64 kms away.
By rail: Belgaum, 64 kms away on the Central Railway is a convenient railhead.
- Bombay-Amboli 549 kms.
- Pune-Amboli 390 kms.
- Ratnagiri-Amboli 215 kms.
State transport and luxury buses run from Vengurla, Belgaum, Sawantwadi and Ratnagiri to Amboli.
Nagpur was once the capital of the Central Provinces. It lies on the Nag River, and is most famous for the Sitabaldi fort surrounded by a moat and located on a bluff overlooking the city. Other places of interest are the Anglican Cathedral, Bhonsle Palace and the Gond Raja's palace. In the month of April the city is popular for its celebration of the festival of Ram Navmi, the birth of Lord Ram.
Paithan, Maharashtra's ancient educational centre, lies on the banks of the Godavari river. It is one of the oldest cities of the Deccan. Paithan's chief claim to fame is its shrine of the much revered Saint Eknath. It is also known for its annual ten day fair -- the Paithan Yatra Fair -- held in March or April. Gyaneshwar Udyan, the city's popular park is worth seeing.
This coconut palm fringed village on the banks of the Shastri river . It is a great place to relax and has a few small beaches which are safe for swimming. It is also famous for the Shiva temple known as Velneshwar Temple which is a high point for those on a Ganesh pilgrimage. Karad is the nearest railway station.
Sevagram lies eight kms away from Wardha. Of great historical importance, Sevagram like the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, was ashram set up by followers of Gandhiji during the freedom struggle and it is a Utopian community, representative of his philosophy. Sevagram is a must see for those interested in India's struggle for Independence. A visit to Gandhiji's Ashram, Gandhi Gyan Mandir, Maganwadi and Bajajwadi is recommended.
By air: The nearest airport is at Nagpur, 67 kms away.
By rail: Wardha is a junction on the Central Railway 759 kms from Bombay
- Bombay-Wardha 822 kms via Amravati.
- Nagpur-Wardha 77 kms.
- Yeotmal-Wardha 58 kms.
Nawegaon, Vidarbha's most popular forest destination, is the ultimate adventure spot. It is said to have been built by Kolu Patel Kolhi in the beginning of the 18th century. There's a picturesque lake set in the midst of the hills. And Nawegaon is something of a 'wildlife resort' with the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary also situated nearby. The sanctuary has a wide variety of colourful bird species. Almost 60% of the bird species found in Maharashtra have been recorded in Nawegaon. Every winter, huge flocks of migratory ducks visit the lake. There are boating and water sports facilities at the lake and jungle safaris organised by the locals. Nearby are watch-towers that enable you to view wildlife.
By air: The nearest airport is at Nagpur 145 kms away.
By rail: The nearest railhead is Devalgaon, 1 km away, on the South Eastern Railway.
- Bombay-Nawegaon 995 kms. The route is actually Bombay-Dhule-Akola-Nagpur-Bhandara-Nawegaon.
- Nagpur-Nawegaon 132 kms. The route is actually Nagpur-Bhandara-Sakoli-Nawegaon.
- Devalgaon-Nawegaon 1 km.
State Transport buses ply from Bhandara, Nagpur and Devalgaon to Nawegaon.
Sindhudurg, the headquarters of Sindhudurg district, is located on a low island in the sea. Sindhudurg was once upon a time Shivaji's coastal capital, a city of magnificent buildings. Today it is a ghost town famous only for the haunting Sindhudurg Fort, one of the 350 forts that Shivaji built for the defence of his kingdom. The fort houses a black stone statue of Shivaji. But Sindhudurg has some fine beaches -- sparkling, white and deserted.
Pali too is situated in Beed district and is also a place of religious interest. However, the various temples located in neighbourhood of Pali are Ganesh temples. Situated in Pali is one of the eight ashtavinayakas, shrines of Ganpati that are of great religious significance. Pilgrims doing the Ganesh Temple circuit , are guaranteed everlasting bliss if they manage to stop in at a ashtavinayakas spot.
Norsobachi Wadi Norsobachi Wadi is situated close to Kolhapur. Quite undiscovered by tourists, this place has great has great archaeological significance.
Sangli is a religious spot on the border of Karnataka in south-eastern Maharashtra. There are several shrines dedicated to Lord Shiv in the vicinity of Sangli.
What's Vijaydurg's claim to fame? A bit of history and a great beach. Located in Sindhudurg district the town's main sight is the fort of Vijaydurg,. Also of interest are the Hanuman temple, the Bhavani Devi temple and the Shiva temple. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiv is one of its kind in the country.
Kelve is located in the district of Palghar, in northern Maharashtra. The main attraction is the beach -- splendidly beautiful and empty. Great hide away for those who want to get away from the grind and be lonesome-ownsome.
Jaysingpur is a small but flourishing town in western Maharashtra. However, other than influx of people to the engineering colleges that are located here, the town is more often than not, just a place for travellers to stop overnight.
Anjarle is situated close to Nasik and is most popular for the Anjarle Fort which is situated here.
Kunkeshwar is situated close to charming border town of Sawantwadi, in southern Maharashtra. Kunkeshwar has a rather pretty Shiv temple located smack on the beach. The town is gaining fame these days to as a new undiscovered beach resort.
Akalkot is a small town situated near Solapur . It is mainly a place of religious interest because of the ashrams dedicated to the Swami Akalkot, who was a disciple of Datta, who was considered to be an incarnation of Vishnu.
Mangalwedha is six kilometres from Solapur. It is a small town mainly visited as a stopover for pilgrims on their way to Pandhapur or Solapur.
Pandharpur is situated on the south bank of the Bhima river, in Solapur district. It is regarded by many as the spiritual centre of Maharashtra. Among its many sights is the shrine dedicated to Lord Vithoba, an incarnation of Vishnu. Several picturesque ghats line the river's banks, where it is rather atmospheric to be able to catch pilgrims taking their spiritual dips. The place also has the pilgrimage season known as the Kartik Ekadashi. On this occasion a temple procession is brought out. For the religiously-inclined, there are many other temples to visit such as the Lakshmi temple, Pundalik temple, the Vishnupad temple, Trimabakeshwar temple and Shri Ram temple.
By air: The nearest airport is at Pune, 204 kms away.
By rail: Pandharpur is a station on the Kurduwadi-Miraj line of the South Central Railway. But a convenient railhead for Pandharpur is Solapur 74 kms.
- Bombay-Pandharpur 386 kms.
- Pune-Pandharpur 204 kms.
State Transport buses ply from Pune, Solapur, Nanded, Satara, Ahmednagar to Pandharpur.